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In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today's Albany International Airport.During the 1920s a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in the state capital, connected to politics in New York City as well.Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs.With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 1.1 million In the 21st century, the Capital District has emerged as a major anchor of Tech Valley, the moniker describing the technologically-focused region of eastern New York State.They formed successful relations with both the Mahican and the Mohawk peoples, two major Native American nations in the region.The fur trade attracted settlers who founded a village called Beverwijck near Fort Orange.
Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.
It marshalled the power of immigrants and their descendants in both cities.
The city's skyline changed in the 1960s and 1970s with the construction of office towers around the Empire State Plaza and at the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
In 1614, Hendrick Christiaensen built Fort Nassau, a fur-trading post and the first documented European structure in present-day Albany.
Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada and among the natives, all of whom vied to control the trade.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services.